Your B2B brand identity exists in the market’s mind. It has nothing to do with what you think or believe. It’s how the market perceives your company or your product.
Rolex vs. Timex
Borrowing from the consumer world, let’s consider two watch brands: a Rolex and a Timex. One is a high-cost status symbol, and the other is a low-cost product that keeps time every bit as well, but without the status.
As a result, they appeal to two distinct audiences.
On the high end with the Rolex, the buyer believes the watch displays prestige and wants you to know he has “arrived.” However, this will never happen unless you (let’s say the non-buyer) recognize the brand as very expensive jewelry. If the non-buyer doesn’t recognize the brand, it’s just another watch.
Rolex goes to great lengths to make sure you know the status it carries, even if you never intend to buy it. Sorry mate, this is not for you.
Timex, at the other end of the extreme, wants you to know that their watches are reliable and keep good time — at an affordable cost. As utilitarian watch buyers, their customers aren’t looking for prestige. What they’re looking for is a low-cost watch.
Timex’s old slogan says it all: “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” TImex makes the buyer feel like a smart shopper — reliable performance at 1/1000th the cost.
Today, people are less likely to use watches for just telling time. You may get the time off your cell phone or Apple Watch. The Apple Watch represents an interesting spin on the Rolex/Timex debate.
The Apple Watch isn’t just a product for telling the time; it extends your iPhone functionality to your wrist. Yes, there is a desirable Apple brand identity that powers iPhone sales, but the Apple Watch will never be a stainless steel, titanium, or solid gold Rolex. However, the Rolex will never be able to send a text message or remind you what time your appointment is. The Apple Watch walks the line of jewelry and technology. It is intended for a very different audience than the Rolex.
Much like in B2C, B2B brand identity for a tech brand is crucial. It is WHO you are. And no matter how much you believe your brand identity, the opinion of your market is what really counts. Craft your messaging and advertisements to lead them to your desired conclusion. Whether it is a high-class brand or an affordable one, that is your B2B brand identity. Make your audience believe it.
In B2B tech marketing, tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating new and traditional marketing tactics, your marketing program become more effective and cost efficient. To learn more about how you can increase your lead generation and overall marketing, download our free eBook: Modern Integrated Digital Marketing—A Better Path for B2B Technology Marketers.
Joe Schubert founded Schubert b2b in 1978 to raise the performance of tech marcom to new heights. Before falling in love with B2B marketing, Joe started his professional career as a computer engineer out of Villanova and University of Pennsylvania, and worked for companies including Unisys, IBM and AT&T.